WaPo: Why Oklahoma cops are returning $53,000 to a Christian band, an orphanage and a church by Christopher Ingraham:
A group of Karen Christians from Burma and Thailand have partnered with the Institute for Justice (IJ) to challenge the civil forfeiture of more than $53,000 by Muskogee County. The seized assets included cash donations made to a Thai orphanage and funds being raised for a nonprofit Christian school in Burma by the Klo & Kweh Music Team, a Burmese Christian rock band on a five-month tour of Karen churches across the U.S. (Institute for Justice)
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Eh Wah was pulled over for a broken tail light in February by Muskogee County sheriff’s deputies, who said a drug-sniffing dog alerted on the car. When the deputies searched the car, they found all $53,000 that the band had raised. They didn’t like Eh Wah’s explanation for why he had it, citing inconsistencies in his responses to police questions. So they seized the cash and eventually charged him with a drug felony, even though they found no drugs or paraphernalia in the car or in his possession.
In an interview, Loge, the district attorney, said the officers had enough probable cause to take the cash.